PUPILS from across the Scottish Borders are set to play a key role in taking forward the 2012 Olympic promise of creating a sporting legacy for the region through participating in the Borders Sport and Leisure Youth Coach Programme.

Twenty-three students drawn from the region's nine secondary schools will participate in the Programme, a year long initiative featuring coaching education, support and mentoring with the goal of increasing the number of qualified young coaches. Once the programme is complete, the young coaches will be able to use their skills to support and deliver school and community sport, increasing the opportunities for people to participate in sporting activities across the region.

The Youth Coaching Programme will be delivered by Borders Sport and Leisure's Active Schools team. The team has run a number of coaching education courses in the past but this will be the first full-year, ongoing structured training programme and will guarantee the participants the opportunity to achieve at least a level 1 coaching qualification in their chosen sport.

Ewan Jackson, Chief Executive of Borders Sport & Leisure, the social enterprise, not-for-profit company that runs many of the sports and leisure facilities and programmes in the region said; " Our Active Schools Team is very excited at being involved in the Youth Coach Programme. It is a great opportunity for young people to enhance their coaching abilities and be supported for a full year in their skills development. The pupils involved are extremely enthusiastic and have a real desire to give back to their schools and communities."

Anna Finnie from Hawick is one of the students participating in the programme. She said: "I think it is great to be part of the Young Coach Programme for 2012/13. Coaching and working with our next generation of young sportsmen and women is something I really enjoy. I am also hoping to study PE at university and I feel the Young Coach Programme is a vital part of my development and experience." Borders Sport and Leisure launches Young Coach Programme